The Coronavirus has had an undeniably major impact on people’s lives over the last few months. The vast majority of us have been following the government’s instructions; isolating ourselves, and keeping to the social distancing rules. These behavioural changes have had an obvious impact on our communication and the maintenance of relationships with people who we’d otherwise have been meeting on a regular basis.

Some of us have adapted far more easily than others to the new normal. We’ve accepted the switch to home-working; as well as the regular video chats with friends, family, and co-workers. Reports have revealed a great increase in the amount of time and number of messages being sent on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Daily Zoom meetings have become the norm as we’ve tried to keep the connections alive during these trying times.

Personal & Professional Changes

It’s only natural that we’ve been making increased use of digital media, given the need to come together and maintain social connections. The Coronavirus has been the fuel for the rekindling of some relationships as it’s become increasingly clear that we’re all in this together. It’s encouraged many of us to reflect and take action in key areas of our lives.

There has been a change in the approach of many businesses, in recognition of increased customer concern over health and financial security. The focus has shifted to the maintenance of customer loyalty, with discounts and changed payment plans becoming the expectation. A number of businesses have realised the benefits of website development and social media engagement given the general increase in amounts of time spent online.

Of course there have been challenges to overcome in adapting to the increased use of digital media. Many elderly people have been experiencing the intense impacts of isolation. And there’s been a shared sense of awkwardness given the expectation of regular video chats. The use of digital media is bound to continue as we adjust to the post-pandemic world. However, there will always be a need for in-person connection.

The New Normal

If there’s one lesson to be taken from the pandemic it’s that things never stay the same. The increased reliance on digital media was quite inevitable given people’s need to remain in contact. However, there’s been a noticeable sense of relief as a semblance of normality has returned in recent weeks. There’s good reason for confidence and certainty in the return to a more normal way of life – one without face masks and social distancing.

The long-lasting impacts of the coronavirus should be considered with respect to the resilience and continued strength of the economy. There may well be a greater focus on online customer engagement through real-time website chats and social media. The use of messaging apps is sure to continue as businesses have come to realise the benefits of cost-effectiveness, improved engagement, and personalisation.

It’s likely to be some time before consumer confidence reaches pre-pandemic levels. There may well be a greater sense of reluctance and caution when it comes to spending on non-essential goods and services. More time may be spent reviewing the online buying options; with the expectation of personalised offers, services, and marketing communications through digital channels.